2013 Festival of Faiths
“Sacred Silence: Pathway to Compassion”
2013 FESTIVAL OF FAITHS
The 18th annual, Sacred Silence: Pathway to Compassion, combined an interest in contemplative practice within an interfaith forum to explore the nature of sacred silence. The goal of this exploration was to provide an opportunity for spiritual growth for the largest possible assembly of people.
Programming was carefully selected to reflect the 2013 Festival’s dedication to the historic 1968 meeting of the His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Thomas Merton (a Trappist monk at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky). This remarkable meeting took place in India at the home in exile of His Holiness, bringing together the leading representatives of Eastern and Western contemplative spirituality. As a result, a new unity was created, wherein each tradition was greatly benefitted by the other.
The Festival featured renowned experts on meditation and compassion, drawn from the faith traditions of the world and recent scientific research on compassion. The 2013 Festival of Faiths was privileged to collaborate with the Drepung Gomang Institute, the City of Louisville and the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University in preparing a program of events leading up to the arrival of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Teddy Abrams is a widely acclaimed conductor, established pianist, clarinetist, award-winning composer and passionate educator. He is the Music Director and Conductor of the
Louisville Orchestra and the Britt Classical Festival, and serves as Resident Conductor of the MAV Symphony Orchestra in Budapest. Abrams is dedicated to exploring new and engaging
ways to communicate with a range of audiences. He was the youngest conducting student accepted at both the Curtis Institute of Music and the Aspen Music Festival.
Teddy Abrams on stage at the 2017 Festival of Faiths »
Jecorey “1200” Arthur is an award-winning educator, composer, performer and curator from Louisville, Kentucky. Arthur’s performances range from Forecastle Festival and the 92nd Street Y Musical Introduction Series to collaborations with the Louisville Orchestra and Pittsburgh Symphony. At the age of twelve he fell in love with hip-hop and purchased a KORG D-1200 recording studio. He then found his passion for classical music while at the University of Louisville, where he earned his BME and MAT. Arthur is currently the Music Specialist at Hite Elementary.
Jecorey ‘1200’ Arthur on stage at the 2017 Festival of Faiths »
Bishop Marc Andrus
The Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus was installed as the Episcopal Bishop of California in 2006, having previously served as Bishop Suffragan in the Diocese of Alabama. In 1987, Andrus was awarded a Master of Divinity degree from the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. Since his ordination to the priesthood in 1988, Bishop Andrus has focused his ministry on issues of peace and justice, including immigration reform, climate change, civil rights for LGBT persons and health care.
Bishop Marc Andrus on stage at the 2017 Festival of Faiths »
James Doty, M.D.
Karen Armstrong is a historian of religion whose books have been translated into forty-five languages. They include the bestseller A History of God and most recently, Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence. In 2008 she was awarded the TED Prize and began working on the Charter for Compassion. The Charter was crafted by leading thinkers in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism and was launched in the fall of 2009 and has become a global movement.
Karen Armstrong on stage at the 2017 Festival of Faiths »
Matthew Barzun is the former Ambassador of the United States of America to the United Kingdom (2013-2016) and previously served as U.S. Ambassador to Sweden (2009-2011). He was a pioneer in the early days of the internet, becoming the fourth employee of CNET Networks where he left in 2004 as Executive Vice President. Barzun was among the first to join Barack Obama’s National Finance Committee where he produced the first $25 per-person fundraiser. He has served on the boards of many non-profits focused on education, public policy and interfaith relations.
Amb. Matthew Barzun on stage at the 2017 Festival of Faiths »
Dalai Lama Fellows
Susan Bauer-Wu, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, has dedicated her career to contemplative practices in healthcare and higher education. She completed doctoral studies in psychoneuroimmunology followed by post-doctoral training in psycho-oncology and behavioral medicine. Bauer-Wu is the current president of the Mind & Life Institute after directing the Compassionate Care Initiative at the University of Virginia and was formerly president of the Society for Integrative Oncology. She is the author of Leaves Falling Gently.
Susan Bauer-Wu on stage at the 2017 Festival of Faiths »
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
Dr. Aruni Bhatnagar is a professor in the Institute of Molecular Cardiology at the University of Louisville. Bhatnagar’s work led to the creation of the new field of environmental cardiology. He leads a group of 30 investigators focused on developing a better understanding of the cardiovascular complications of diabetes. Currently, Bhatnagar serves on the Editorial Boards of both Circulation Research and Circulation, has participated in over 50 National Institutes of Health review panels and is the author of over 120 publications.
Aruni Bhatnagar on stage at the 2017 Festival of Faiths »
Rabbi Arthur Green
Episcopal priest, writer and retreat leader, Cynthia Bourgeault balances her time between solitude and actively recovering the Christian contemplative path. A longtime advocate for Centering Prayer, she has worked closely with Fr. Thomas Keating. Bourgeault is a founding Director of both the Aspen Wisdom School and The Contemplative Society, where she continues to contribute in her role as Principal Teacher and advisor. She is currently a core faculty member at The Living School for Action and Contemplation, headed by Richard Rohr, OFM. Bourgeault’s numerous books include the bestseller Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening.
Cynthia Bourgeault on stage at the 2017 Festival of Faiths »
The Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, a lifelong ecumenicist, who served as the first ordained woman appointed as general secretary of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Campbell is a devoted activist for peace and social justice, believing that citizens in a democracy must act on their conscience. This commitment was crafted during her life-changing work with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and in the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa. Rev. Campbell’s commitment to growing the global compassion movement is reflected in her work with Charter for Compassion International and Global Peace Initiative of Women.
Rev. Campbell’s commitment to growing the global compassion movement is reflected in her work with Charter for Compassion International. She also serves as Chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, providing leadership to GPIW’s important work with women throughout the world. She served as Chair of the Global Health Council and was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Councils on both Faith and Values. She is the recipient of 14 honorary degrees and, in 2010, was awarded the Walter Cronkite Faith and Freedom Award. Rev. Campbell is author of Living Into Hope: A Call to Spiritual Action for Such a Time as This, and Prayers From Chautauqua, a collection of her prayers published in 2013. She is the mother of three grown children and grandmother to eight.
Joan Brown Campbell on stage at the 2017 Festival of Faiths »
Siddheshvari Devi Ji (Didi Ji)
James Richard Comer was elected to Congress in November 2016 and represents Kentucky’s 1st congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. He previously served as the Agriculture Commissioner of Kentucky where his work to root out wasteful spending and fraud, return taxpayer dollars to the treasury and grow Kentucky’s agricultural economy, received bipartisan acclaim. He promoted rural economic development by spearheading the successful effort to legalize industrial hemp and developed new branding initiatives for Kentucky farmers.
Congressman James Comer on stage at the 2017 Festival of Faiths »
Fr. Martin Laird
Patrick Holden is a pioneer of the modern sustainable food movement and the Founding Director and Chief Executive of the Sustainable Food Trust. He was the founding chairman of British Organic Farmers in 1982, before joining the Soil Association where he worked for nearly 20 years. During this time the organization led the development of organic standards and the market for organic foods. Holden is Patron of the UK Biodynamic Association and was named the Commander of the British Empire in 2005 for services to organic farming.
Patrick Holden on stage at the 2017 Festival of Faiths »
Since 1985, Thupten Jinpa has been the principal English translator to the 14th Dalai Lama and has translated and edited many of his books including the New York Times bestseller Ethics for the New Millennium. Jinpa was born in Tibet in 1958. His training as a monk took place in South India where he went on to receive the Geshe Lharam degree from the Shartse College of Ganden Monastic University. He taught Buddhist epistemology, metaphysics, Middle Way philosophy and Buddhist psychology at Ganden for five years. Jinpa holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Cambridge University.
Thupten Jinpa on stage at the 2017 Festival of Faiths »
Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel
Dr. Ingrid Mattson is a leading Muslim religious figure, a professor of Islamic Studies and expert on the Qur’an. She was elected vice president and then president of the Islamic Society of North America, the first woman to serve in either position. In that capacity, a 2010 New York Times article called her “the most noticed figure among American Muslim women.” As a professor at Hartford Seminary, she developed and directed the first accredited graduate program for Muslim chaplains in America. Currently, Mattson teaches at the University of Western Ontario.
More Information about Ingrid Mattson can be found on her website: http://ingridmattson.org/
Ingrid Mattson on stage at the 2017 Festival of Faiths »
Seyyed Hossein Nasr
David Muhammad is a leader in the fields of criminal justice, violence prevention and youth development. He is the Executive Director of the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform where he serves as a lead consultant and technical assistant provider to the Sierra Health Foundation’s Positive Youth Justice Initiative. Muhammad also provides leadership and technical assistance to the CeaseFire Violence Reduction Strategy in the cities of Oakland and Stockton, California. He is also a consultant to Cities United, a national initiative to drastically reduce Black male homicide rates.
David Muhammad on stage at the 2017 Festival of Faiths »
Dungse Jampal Norbu
Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel practiced the Buddhadharma for 30 years under the guidance of Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, becoming his first Western student. Elizabeth has an academic background in both Anthropology and Buddhist Studies, and after many years of solitary retreat, was appointed Retreat Master at Longchen Jigme Samten Ling in southern Colorado. Using the Buddha’s teachings on emptiness as a lens, she asks us to take a fresh look at all the assumptions and beliefs we have about reality and liberation. Elizabeth is the author of The Power of an Open Question: The Buddha’s Path.
Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel on stage at the 2017 Festival of Faiths »
Rami Nashashibi has served as the Executive Director of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) since 1997. He has a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago and is a Visiting Professor of Religion & Muslim Studies at the Chicago Theological Seminary. He worked with several leading scholars in the area of globalization, African American studies and urban sociology. Rami and his work with IMAN have been featured in many national and international media outlets and Georgetown University identified him as one of the “500 Most Influential Muslims in the World.”
Rami Nashashibi on stage at the 2017 Festival of Faiths »
The Sakyong, Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche
Mayor Betsy Price is an American businesswoman and politician who serves as the 44th and current mayor of Fort Worth, Texas, elected on June 18, 2011. Active in the Republican Party, she turned to public service and ran for office in 2000 when she was elected to the position of Tarrant County’s Tax Assessor. Price ran her own business for 17 years and became active in community affairs while serving on numerous boards, commissions and professional associations. She has made significant strides along the path toward her vision of a healthy, engaged and fiscally responsible city.
Betsy Price on stage at the 2017 Festival of Faiths »
Sadiqa Reynolds is the President and CEO of Louisville Urban League. Her appointment made her the first woman to hold this title in the affiliate’s 95 year history. She has previously served as Chief for Community Building in the Office of the Mayor where she oversaw approximately 1500 employees who operated the city’s Parks, Public Health and Wellness Programs, Animal Services, Human Relations Commission, Libraries, Zoo, Community Services, and the Office for Safe Healthy Neighborhoods. Sadiqa serves or has served on several boards including Fund for the Arts, the Depression Center, BankOn, Maryhurst, Habitat for Humanity, Home of the Innocents and the WAVE3 Editorial Board, WDRB Editorial Board, Cradle to Career Committee, 55K, GLI and the Federal Reserve Board.
Sadi on stage at the 2017 Festival of Faiths »
Fr. Richard Rohr
Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro is widely recognized as one of the most creative figures in contemporary American Judaism. A graduate of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, he also holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Union Graduate School. Shapiro is an award-winning poet, liturgist and essayist. “Rami Shapiro is brilliant, heartful and full of reverence (and irreverence!). A great pluralistic soul with a fabulous sense of humor. You will love him.” – Rabbi Tirzah Firestone
Rabi Rami Shapiro on stage at the 2017 Festival of Faiths »
Only in silence and solitude, in the quiet of worship, the reverent peace of prayer, the adoration in which the entire ego-self silences and abases itself in the presence of the Invisible God, only in these “activities” which are “non-actions” does the spirit truly wake from the dream of a multifarious and confused existence.
Ultimately, the reason why love and compassion bring the greatest happiness is simply that our nature cherishes them above all else. The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence. It results from the profound interdependence we all share with one another.
-The 14th Dalai Lama